I dont know why i didnt think about it before. Oh that's right. My enthusiasm for Justin Blackmon completely overshadowed my logic and view of reality. It wasn't the drugs and alcohol impairing my judgement(well maybe partially). But our front office had leaked a pleathra of clues indicating their lack of interest in Blackmon, as i will start to talk about below. But don't worry we have better plans, find out after the jump. (note: no pictures children, if you don't like words go elsewhere.)
For starters, the way in which we sought out for recivers in FA(regardless to whether we were able to sign most of them). Vjax was in fact number one on our list to aquire at the start of FA, our attempts was short lived, as the Bucs swooped in and killed any competion that could have arose for Vjax with their massive budget. Moments later we found out Pierre Garson was on our list, only to be capitolized by the Skins minutes later. Next we came close to aquiring Manningham, but that eventually ended in a no go. Why was their such a dire need of getting that #1 or #2 reciver first in FA, espicsially being that we were in great position to draft Blackmon. After the signings of Finnegan, Wells, and Langford, we were back at it again and aquired Steve Smith. Now after a few more FA's signed, were are again bring more candidates in for depth such as Jerome Simpson and Jerico Cotchery. Now at this point i am not naive enough to believe we would add a big contract reciver in the draft after so many attempts to sign some in FA's. All of these events were red flags that i overlooked.
The next big flag that clouded my "Blackmon man crush" was simply our FO's willingness and openness to trade again out of the #6 spot. Still needing help at the WR position i pass over these rumors as possible "smokescreens". And given our glaring needs all over the roster it was easy to see trading down was within the realm of possibilities. However now, i cannot buy anymore into the idea that Jeff Fisher is okay with the whole "we'll take whichever top player falls to us" mentality, not from Jeff Fisher, never.
The last big flag i have is Fishers draft history. History has shown Jeff Fisher has never selected a WR in the first round except for Kenny Britt in 09', and even that was with the 30th overall pick. Reasons why, i'm not so sure. Perhaps it is because Fisher comes from that old-school way of thinking(whatever that means). And he grew up and coached in the era of many pre-madonna type recivers. And now knows enough to not take that kind of chance with an early pick on recievers. Even though Blackmon doesnt exactly fit the stereotype, being the son of a Marine and school teacher, I can see Fishers pre concived prejudice to this position could weigh heavily on his mind in a tough desicion like this.
By know it has become apparent that our FO is most interested in Trent Richardson among all the top players. And it seems everyone and there mother is initially dissapointed with this, seeing as we already have SJax. And it has not sunk in that Steven Jackson needs a succesor sooner than later. The idea that Sjax is still primed for 2-3 more "complete" seasons is ignorant wishful thinking at it's best. It has not yet sunk in among our fans that the NFL HB postion has shortest lifespan of all other positions. And among even the top ranked younger HB's in the leauge last year, none of them had played all 16 games because of injuries. On that list include Jamal Charles, Darren McFadden, Marshaun Lynch, Demarco Murray, Arian Foster, and even Adrian Peterson.
Even with all the TRich talk there is still no gaurantee we will land him, the Bucs and Browns both have a major need at the HB position. Browns released Peyton Hillis, and LaGarrett Blount has much more to prove before he can be considered the Buc's feature back(has injury problems aswell). Two names that Rams fans should start learning about is Fletcher Cox and Micheal Brockers. Both are DT's and would support Fishers defensive style of drafting, and could identify as his version of Haynesworth(minus the problems). If we are unable to trade out of the 6th spot, and Trent Richardson is off the board, fans shouldn't be surprised if we draft Brockers or Cox in that spot(preferably Cox IMO). Even if Claiborne is available, i cannot see our FO spending a long term contract for a second CB this off-season, the risks just outweigh the benefits.
It is no suprise that the Blackmon and Flloyd supporters would be furious about this turn of events, as the need for a #1 WR has plauged this team for a long time. So let me try and ease that fury....with my excitement over a new WR that our FO is targeting. Reuben Randle!!!! I am so glad to see him start getting some major recognition, and is scheduled to visit with us in the upcoming days. Ruben Randle from LSU, who i am no longer ashamed to say is the best receiver in this draft class IMO. If this is too bold a statement for you , try and hang in there with me. A few of the reasons Randle is not being touted as the #1 reciver are to his 2011 season, and his lower stat production, this was of course due to the inconsistency of the QB position at LSU throughout the year. Another big reason was due to his dissapointing 40 time at the combine(4.55). And critics say he doesnt have the top speed to get past the secondary. However anyone who watched his film can tell you otherwise, and we know he had almost zero issue's when it came to route running and beating secondaries for the deep pass.His game speed makes him look way faster the Blackmon, who ran a 4.45 at his pro day. When watching Randle on video, the unanimous point made about his play/skills were "very smooth". Smooth in of the break, smooth route running(can smoothly complete a route tree), smoothly adjust to the ball when making catches, just smooth all around basically. Now how does one become this polished of a receiver you might ask. Well the answer isnt all that talked about when we discuss Randles abilities. But i rembered hearing it when, he was interviewed after the NFL combine, which by the way you could tell by the way he talks how humble and hardworking he is.
So imagine your Reuben Randle, and the first three years of your college career you played for LSU. Now picture yourself doing all the different types of training and preparation it takes before you even play your first games. Everyday you have practice, and at some point during that practice, you run the standard offense vs defense situations. So essentially you are running practice against the number one defense in the country over the last 3 years(a defense that some might say is better than many NFL defenses during that time). More specifically speaking you are matched up against the #1 CB prospect over the last 3 years every practice. That's right! Rueben Randle got to perfect his craft(finite his skills) running against both Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne during his three years at LSU(on a daily basis). This scenario doesn't even consider them working together outside of practice and school in general, like he mentioned in his interview. If this isn't the biggest indicator of a NFL #1 WR talent than i don't know what is. If you are not convinced go back and take a look at his video analysis on youtube not just the highlights, and you might be able to picture what true talent looks like, not just freakish athleticism, strength and height.
So there you have it, no longer do i worry about whether we get Blackmon, Flloyd or even Richardson, but now i only fear Randle's skill and assets will start to resonate more if not already with the other teams. And thus have him drafted before the 33rd pick, in which i say he is a "must draft" at that point, for he wont make it to 39th. We are so fortunate for Randle to have his draft stock dropped this year, hopefully our FO will see that in the interview and make the right move. I'll be cocky and say my reasoning/rationale in this case is pretty flawless(you guys dont seem to comment otherwise), but your free to be a bunch of cry babies and challenge me on this lol.
Mock( Based of Scheduled Visits)
#6) Fletcher Cox DT
#33) Rueben Randle WR
#39) Kelechi Osemele OG/OT
#66) Mychal Kendricks OLB
#96) Sean Spence OLB
#171) Dwight Bently CB
#201) Ronald Leary OG
#252) Brian Stahvoich P